STATEMENT BY THE CHAIR OF THE AFRICAN GROUP
H.E. ALY DIANE, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE
OF GUINEA TO THE UNITED NATIONS.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF COMMEMORATION AND DIGNITY OF THE VICTIMS OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE AND OF THE PREVENTION OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE.
9 DECEMBER 2021.
At the outset and on behalf of the African Group, let me thank you for convening today’s meeting to mark the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime.
Today is also the 73rd anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide which happens to be the first human rights treaty to be adopted by the General Assembly in aftermath of the second world war.
This annual commemoration serves as an opportunity for all of us to honor the victims of genocide.
The African Union is committed to fighting impunity and in its recent decision the African Union Peace and Security Council decision PSC/PR/COMM.(CMLXXXIX) dated April 12th, 2021 calls on all Member States to investigate, arrest, prosecute or extradite the genocide fugitives responsible for the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda that are still at large.
Genocide is a dreadful crime that affects every fabric of our societies: It is an assault on our most fundamental shared values.
Today, as we remember and honor the victims of the crime of genocide, we must imbibe the fact that preventing genocide is at the core of our common human values. Therefore, this treaty remains very relevant, especially today as we work to prevent genocide and address the root causes of it, while at the same time attempting to prevent other atrocities that are still being perpetrated with impunity with no regard for the sanctity of human life.
And as we work to address the root causes of this crime, we should not forget the dangers of hate speech and discrimination, that are all warning signs to genocide.
This annual commemoration affords us an opportunity to reflect, and continue the fight against genocide, its ideology, denial, and impunity with a view to ensure that never again shall we experience such a heinous crime against humanity.
In this regard, I would like to pay tribute to the leadership and the people of Rwanda for consistently working towards “Never Again” and for emerging through resilience and unity from the terrible past and putting Rwanda on a development path that continues to inspire many countries on our continent and beyond.
We should, therefore, redouble our efforts in fighting genocide ideology, its denial as well as impunity. If genocide ideology persists, its denial will continue unabated, and impunity will reign. This task should be the responsibility of both governments and people It is the collective responsibility of the regional organizations, Member States, CSOs, the youth organizations, the women’s movement, media as well as the academia. We should collectively combat genocide ideology, impunity and denial working hand-in-glove together and all other stakeholders.
This commemoration should remind us of a past never to be repeated. It should challenge us to deal with the present and the future in our efforts towards achieving peace, reconciliation, accountability, justice, social harmony, constructive management of diversity and the respect for and protection of human and peoples’ rights on the African Continent.
We need to remain constantly vigilant of key political, human rights, humanitarian, social and economic developments worldwide to identify early the risks of genocide and other atrocity crimes.
On this international day to commemorate the victims of genocide and affirm their dignity, let us invest in prevention and commit to upholding the responsibilities established in the Genocide Convention.
· The world must recommit to stepping up efforts and collaboration among States to apprehend fugitives that remain at large.
· Combatting genocide ideology in all its manifestations, including genocide denial and hate speech must be at the forefront of the office of UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. The office of the special advisor should consider a UN Special session on the rising Genocide denial and hate speech.
I thank you.